Tottenham Hotspur are in a rich vein of form with eight wins on the spin and as a unit, they have been a picture of genuine title contenders. Besides building a team that is earning merits on the pitch, Mauricio Pochettino has gradually worked on squad depth since arriving from Southampton in 2014.
Each position has sufficient cover without the need of sacrificing quality besides a capable deputy for Harry Kane. Vincent Janssen arrived in England’s top flight with great expectation following his eye-catching form with AZ Alkmaar, where he notched 27 goals out of 34 appearances. However, the 22-year-old hasn’t quite panned out to expectations and midway through the season, many are labelling him as a flop already.
Adapting to the Premier League is no easy feat and picking up Harry Kane’s duties only after a month with the club is not the best way to welcome a newcomer. When the England international picked up an ankle injury against Sunderland, Janssen was immediately thrown onto the pitch and downright failed to defy the odds. He did very little to dismiss the thought that Kane’s poaching instincts and quick moments were a miss. Tottenham are one of the league’s best chance creators yet suffered goal drought earlier this season which says more that the frontman is struggling to convert chances into goals.
He has found the back of the net thrice but from spot kicks and only contributed a single assist, which clearly highlights his influence from open play. To further hit his remaining confidence, Jannsen is being compared to former striker Roberto Soldado, who failed to hit the ground running after making waves in the Spanish league.
Being a fringe player, he was offered a start against Championship side Aston Villa in the FA Cup but once again missed to make a grade and was replaced by Dele Alli after an hour. Alli has been a revelation under Pochettino and seems to be a reliable option for a second striker, jostling Jannsen further down the pecking order.
The manager admits that he took the risk too early to replace previous year’s top scorer with a fresh and young player. Nevertheless, he has voiced his belief in the £17 million summer signing to turn around the fortunes soon.
“Maybe it was too early but it’s part of the process,” the Argentinean said, as quoted by ESPN. “He’s still very young, he’s a kid, and he’s in a moment now where he needs love and the way that we can help him is to try to push him, give him extra work for him to be fitter, to be sharp and try to recover his good feelings.”
He added: “We expected maybe for him not to play too much. When Harry got injured, he was our main striker and played a lot.
“He is a young player, who came from a different country, a different league, different football. He needs to adapt his qualities to the team and a different league.”
Janssen will continue to be an understudy of Harry Kane and hope to repay his manager’s faith in cups competitions as the north London club are combating for the Europa League and FA Cup too.
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